TOKYO, July 19 (Reuters) - Japan’s Foreign Minister Taro Kono plans to summon South Korea’s ambassador on Friday in a deepening political and economic row over compensation for Korean forced labourers in the World War Two era, Japan’s public broadcaster NHK said.
Kono will once again urge Seoul to take “appropriate steps” to rectify what it says was an improper ruling last year by South Korea’s Supreme Court, ordering two Japanese companies to compensate the wartime workers, NHK said. Japan says the decision violated international law because the issue of compensation was settled under a 1965 treaty.
Compensation of South Koreans for labour during Japan’s 1910-45 occupation of the Korean peninsula has soured relations between the United States’ closest Asian allies, which took a turn for the worse this month when Japan restricted exports of high-tech material to South Korea. (Reporting by Linda Sieg and William Mallard Editing by Shri Navaratnam)